On Friday, October 20, a mass demonstration organized by Europe’s Ahwazi community took place in Berlin, Germany. This protest entitled “we will not forget about you” demanded that the German government, headed by Chancellor Angela Merkel, intervene immediately regarding Iran’s increasingly oppressive human rights violations against the Arab people of occupied Ahwaz.
The demonstrators consisted of Ahwazi Arab diaspora and their allies. All held banners in both Arabic and German, which included slogans such as “Freedom for Ahwazi prisoners”, “Freedom for Ahwaz”, and “We ask Germany to urge the Iranian regime to free Ahwazi prisoners.”
The demonstration comes in light of the Iranian regime’s relentless human rights abuses against Ahwazis – including massive campaigns of secret arrests and imprisonments of those who have had no official charges brought against them. It should be noted that the Iranian regime has sentenced dozens of Ahwazi prisoners to death after unfair trials based on confessions extracted under torture supervised by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).
The head of the Ahwaz Organization for the Defense of Human Rights, Fayez Rahim, said that Iranian regime forces have arrested 200 Ahwazis since the beginning of the year. He also added that The Iranian Revolutionary Court in Ahwaz sentenced two Ahwazi activists to death. They are Abdullah Abdullahi and Qasim Bait Abdullah from the Shahour neighborhood of Shush city. The court also sent 6 of their fellow activists to the prison as well, with sentences ranging from 3 to 30 years. According to the verdicts of the court, the prison sentence was given to:
- Ahmad Abdullahi, 30-year-old resident of Shosh, sentenced to 25 years in prison.
Majed Bait Abdullah, 23-year-old from Khalaf al-Muslim village, sentenced to 25 years in prison.
HassounBeit Abdullah bin Abbas, 31-year-old resident from Derjal village, sentenced to 25 years in prison
Hussein Abdullahi, 24-year-old brother of the first accused from Shahour district, sentencedt to 3 years in prison.
- Issa Abdullahi, 24 years old, and Majid Abdullahi, 24 years old, each sentenced to 3 years of prison.
The activists listed above were charged with opposing the Iranian regime by spreading anti-government propaganda and undermining national security via the formation of the “Jund al-Faruq” organization. These activists have been tortured by Iranian security since they were arrested in 2015.
However, other human rights activists in Ahwaz believe that the so-called “Jund al-Faruq” organization doesn’t actually exist. They surmise it is a fictitious organization invented by the Iranian security services to support their accusations against Arab civil activists. In these past few years, there have been similar examples of this phenomenon, where innocent Ahwazi activists have been arrested after being charged with involvement in non-existed organizations.
The Ahwaz Organization for the Defense of Human Rights has expressed its concern regarding an increase in the number of Ahwazis unjustly executed by the Iranian regime. They have therefore called for international organizations to intervene, negate the sentences issued against these imprisoned activists, and give them the opportunity of a fair, public trial in the presence of independent lawyers.
Rahim Hamid, Ahwazi freelance journalist and human rights activist based in the USA